Michael Arnold has been named as one of the 12 victims of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., on September 16. The 59-year-old was working with a Navy consulting firm when Aaron Alexis opened fire on unarmed workers.
Here are five fast facts you need to know about Michael Arnold.
1. Arnold Was a Navy Veteran
Speaking to reporters, Arnold’s uncle, Steve Hunter, revealed that his nephew spend 29 years in the Navy and retired at the rank of captain last October, according to MyFox. Arnold’s tenure included a previous deployment to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
2. He Joined a Navy Consulting Firm After His Retirement
Jeff Bennett, a vice president at LMI, told The Washington Post that Arnold “was just a solid, solid citizen … great American.”
According to the Washington Post, Arnold was the Navy’s go-to guy in negotiations over any purchase for America-class ships.
“Nobody knew those ships like him. He was the guy you depended on every time you went to talk to the contractor, to make sure you were getting what you had ordered.” Vandroff said. “Michael’s family will grieve for him, as a lost husband and lost father, but the Navy will also grieve. It has lost a tremendous human intellectual asset and just a wonderful man.”
3. Arnold Was Highly Educated
According to MyFox, Arnold received two master’s degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
4. Arnold Was a Pilot Who Loved Flying
Steven Hunter, Arnold’s uncle, revealed to reporters that his nephew was an avid pilot. According to USA Today, he was building a small aircraft at his home.
“It would have been the first plane he ever owned,” Hunter said in a telephone interview from Rochester, Mich., Arnold’s hometown. “It’s partially assembled in his basement.”
He was planning to finish the aircraft before his up-coming 60th birthday and fly it to Michigan, where his family has a cabin, according to the Washington Post.
5. Arnold Leaves Behind a Loving Family
Arnold and his wife, Jolanda, had been married for more than 30 years. They have two sons, named Eric and Christopher.
“He was a loving son of his mother and his wife, and great father to his kids,” said Steve Hunter, Arnold’s uncle. “It’s tragic. How can you get up in the morning and go to work and have that happen? How do bad things like that happen to good people?”
“He read to the boys every night,” said Patricia Arnold, Michael’s mother. “It’s certainly not going to be easy for them, because they were so close to their dad.”